Standing for Justice: The Unresolved Matters with the New York City Gay Men's Chorus (NYCGMC)

In June 2021, a series of events unfolded that profoundly impacted my life and my trust in institutions that purport to uphold the values of inclusivity and respect. As a former member of the New York City Gay Men's Chorus (NYCGMC) and an active participant in queer Asian communities through organizations like GAPIMNY, I have witnessed firsthand the discrepancies between stated values and actions.My departure from NYCGMC was not voluntary but the result of standing up against ingrained issues of racism within the organization. This action, which should have been met with support and corrective measures, instead led to my unjust termination. It was a moment that tested my resolve but also my belief in the power of community advocacy.

Upon his appointment as Board Chair of NYCGMC, Troy Blackwell Jr. acknowledged the injustice of my termination, stating clearly that I was owed an apology. However, as of April 2024—nearly three years later—that apology has yet to be received, neither publicly nor privately. This silence speaks volumes, and it contradicts the chorus's public commitment to diversity and inclusion. The recent collaborations between NYCGMC and organizations I hold dear, such as GAPIMNY and SALGA, have prompted me to speak out once more. It is crucial that all members of these collaborating organizations understand the full context of what has transpired and the lack of resolution that continues to taint this narrative.

This post will remain on my website as a testament and reminder of the ongoing need for accountability in our spaces. The integrity of any institution lies not just in its ability to celebrate diversity but to confront and correct its shortcomings. True progress in inclusivity requires acknowledgment of past wrongs, transparent efforts to make amends, and concrete steps to prevent future injustices. As someone deeply involved in these community spaces, I am committed to holding them accountable. I will continue to advocate for a resolution that not only addresses the personal harm done but also strengthens the collective trust and safety of all members involved. For the communities I am part of, for the values we cherish, and for the justice we pursue, I stand firm in my resolve. NYCGMC’s leadership, particularly under the guidance of individuals like Troy Blackwell Jr., has a responsibility to uphold its promises. An apology is a necessary first step toward healing and understanding, and it is a step that I still await.

This unresolved issue will not be set aside, and I urge NYCGMC, along with all entities involved, to take meaningful action. It is only through genuine acknowledgment and corrective action that we can hope to move forward and truly embody the principles of equality and respect we so fervently advocate.

Until then, we wait, we remember, and we continue to demand better.